SQL: Old Soldiers Never Die

Structured Query Language (SQL) has been a phenomenally useful language for the relational database era. But I see that era coming to a close.

One of the primary flaws is SQL allows for database Alters, Drops, Updates and Deletes. When diskspace was expensive this made perfect sense, but with the unlimited disk resources we have today a greater principle holds true: NO SCHEMA OR DATA SHOULD BE ALTERED, DROPPED, UPDATED OR DELETED.

A second flaw is the lack of interactive modification of the schema in real time. Changes still blow most applications all to hell.

A third flaw is supertype/subtype hierarchies. Such things should not be hard coded into a design.

That being the case SQL has four unnecessary statements just waiting to be abused. We need a better language. In fact, we need a better database architecture.

A new language would provide no means for updates or deletes. I created the first Releases of this language I called “Structured Thinking Language” (STL).

STL has the following commands:

  1. CREATE – affordance concept (creates entities)
  2. DIRECT – affordance context (relates entities)
  3. POSIT – affordance method (entity output)
  4. OBJECT – affordance pragma (entity input)
  5. NEGATE – affordance cosmos (entity security)
  6. INTUIT – affordance chronos (entity manipulation)

As you can see there are no means to delete data.

Each entity (noun) has only one “attribute” in the relational ERD sense and each entity value is unique.

Each relationship between entities is called an direction with a subject, verb and object.

What we are actually dealing with is a database that has data states. Data being no longer affected by Alters and Deletes are instead affected by change of state without physical alteration or deletion.

After looking at STL recently I realized I had created a command language for an existing database architecture: The Associative Model of Data by Simon Williams.

The Book on the Model and a free copy of the Enterprise Edition software is available here.

An old release of STL can be found here.

On Getting Creative Ideas

Murray Gell-Mann, one of the largest living legends in physics, discusses creativity. (70 minutes)

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If you listen, Murray’s greatest revelation is simply this: We make up boundaries for ourselves that do not exist. Recognizing false boundaries and crossing them is what “thinking outside of the box” is all about.

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This Song

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It Is All Natural

I have had the unfortunate privilege to read some of the work of Jean Jacques Rousseau and I wish I had had the liberty to bash his brains out. Rousseau is the bane of humanity for one reason: his definition of natural and artificial. The truth is there is no such distinction and there never was.

Everything on this planet is natural. Every tree, every pollution belching factory, every cloud, every strip mine, every river, every nuclear bomb. Man and the products of man are natural. There never was a noble savage.

So all you stupid environmentalists can shove your pastoral myths and recognize that progress is inevitable. Hunter gatherer society is at an end worldwide. Agriculture and Aquaculture will take over and will transform into industrial capacities. Urbanization and urban sprawl will continue unabated as new energy sources are found.

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Rousseau was not describing a lost state of man. He was describing a future state of man. The savage is gradually becoming noble. Stephen Pinker backs me up in the following video:

Goodbye Breakfast Flock

Richard Bach’s story Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a very insightful work about innovators and innovation.  I’m not going to give a lengthy review of it except that I recommend reading it.  Leave the breakfast flock and learn how to truly fly.

It Ain’t Frank, To Be Frank

I started reading Frank Herbert’s novels when I was in first year university.  I had all of them in hard copy and I found the Dune Chronicles to be spellbinding.  The other day I was looking for some light reading and here to my surprise were a series of new Dune Chronicles by Brian Herbert (center) and Kevin J. Anderson.  I decided I would test the waters with Hunters of Dune.

Brian and Kevin are both accomplished authors and I found Hunters of Dune a good piece of science fiction.  Apparently, Frank Herbert had left his notes for the conclusion of the Dune Chronicles in two safety deposit boxes that were discovered a decade later and Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune are the product.

I have to admit, my Dune memory is fuzzy.  But I could sense that the writing was, as Brian and Kevin admit, not Frank Herbert.  The passages where prescience is described does not have the vivid prose that Frank used.  And there appears to be a logical flaw in the Hunters novel:  the depiction of the conundrum of the Honored Matres origin, how it is obscured and how it is found doesn’t fit logically with the character who discovers it.  But I will leave that to other readers to consider and debate.  I am willing to suspend my skepticism for the fun of the story.

Dune is a great tale.  Brian and Kevin filled out its beginnings and end courageously.  And as a gift to my son I plan to buy the entire series in hard cover for posterity.

Systema: Some Basics

Chris Collins has written a good Introduction to the Zachman Framework that I recommend with a caution: I do not accept that John Zachman fully understands what he is talking about. What this means to me is I will be gradually divorcing myself from using the term Zachman Framework and use the term “Systema” instead. He himself acknowledges that he borrowed his concept from the six interrogatives and construction terminology and from all I’ve read I do not feel that John ever fully explored what he used indepth.

If he had he would have realized there is only one true dimension which are the six unities, which I borrow modified from Aristotle. Every new dimension is simply a repeat of the six unities.

My terminology continues to evolve:

  1. Causus: Problem – The Mavin – provides niche – possibility
  2. Cognitus: Hypothesis – The Connector – provides associations – compatibility
  3. Artus: Method – The Salesman – provides purchase rationale – reliability
  4. Datus: Apparatus – The Accountant – provides mass market – economy
  5. Eventus: Result – The Secretary – provides delivery schedule – accessibility
  6. Locus: Location – The Receptionist – provides product touchpoints – geography

This brings to mind The Innovator’s Dilemma and shows that the tipping point is between reliability and economy.

He would have also pointed out that there are only four fundamental verbs that can be performed on the six factors. I am still refining the icon design.